selling a non-running car
June 7, 2004 9:45 PM   Subscribe

What's the best way to sell a car that doesn't run?

After consulting Edmunds and Kelly Blue Book online, I figure that my car would be of some value even without the engine work that it would need. I'm not interested in restoring it for my use (I mentioned being in the market for a new car in an earlier thread), and I wonder if there is a large market for "project cars." Sites that require payment for ads intimidate me because I'm leery of spending bunches of money to advertise a car that ultimately has a worse chance of selling than the average. If I posted ads at every place I saw on Google, I may end up spending more on ads than I would get for the car. Are there any sites that specialize in this sort of broken-down fixer-upper thing?

Also, would "parting out" the car be a better option? A friend had given me advice against selling parts myself, especially since I can't have remnants of an automobile sitting in my driveway waiting for purchase. I don't know of any legal chop shops. Is there some place that would give me a good value for the cost of all of the sellable parts? Any advice would be helpful since I have absolutely no experience with cars other than driving and riding in them.
posted by lnicole to Grab Bag (6 answers total)
Best answer: You don't mention the model/year, so I'm guessing it's not something with an avid collectors' community, which would be teeming with guys looking for parts. Check for websites anyway, this might do it for you. The junkyard is your one-stop parting out shop, but they know why you are there, so they are not going to make you an exciting offer; however, you are done with the whole deal in minutes, so there is something to be said for that. I just drove my tired 12-year-old truck into the junkyard before I left California, thanked her for the years of mostly good service, and I think I got $500 for it. Parting out with ads means you are going to be fielding lots of annoying calls, long after the good parts are gone, and the guys that come over, you don't know how much stuff they are going to steal, and there is incidental damage to other parts as they cannibalize what they need. May not be worth the time and aggravation.
posted by planetkyoto at 10:02 PM on June 7, 2004

Response by poster: It's a 1997 Plymouth Neon, planetkyoto. I was reluctant to mention that because I didn't want to be brought up in Metatalk and accused of using AskMe to sell my car or anything. Sorry for not giving enough info.
posted by lnicole at 10:29 PM on June 7, 2004

Best answer: I know craigslist already gets mentioned lots on AskMe, but....if anything post a free ad at your local craigslist. A friend of mine posted an ad for his very run-down car on craigslist and a guy actually flew in from several hours away to buy it (pretty much at asking price). It wasn't even that unique of a car. Just be upfront about the condition and provide links to photos. You may be surprised by the large number of people interested in non-working cars.
posted by gluechunk at 11:42 PM on June 7, 2004

I second the craig's list. I've bought two cars and sold one on there in the past 4 years and each experience has been fabulous. AND FREE! And fast...
You'd be suprised what people want out there.
I agree with honest and include pictures.
posted by aacheson at 7:28 AM on June 8, 2004

Best answer: I was able to use a non-running car as a trade in, at a deal I could live with. Even if you're not buying its replacement from a dealer, a friend might.
posted by theora55 at 3:24 PM on June 8, 2004

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